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'Claire'

'Claire'

Name: 'Claire'
Age: 18
Year of the Fix: 2009
Location: Sussex
Campaign: Helping young people to survive domestic abuse

Unfortunately, for legal reasons, I am not allowed to tell you my real name. When I was younger I was very aware of my mum and dad arguing over anything and everything. As I got older I became more and more aware of my Dad becoming increasingly violent and emotionally abusive towards my Mum.

 

When I was nine Mum took me and my younger brother away to live in a refuge in Hull - because she said she could no longer put up with the abuse. Unfortunately Mum was not able to stay away from my Dad because he constantly called her and said he'd changed so she agreed to take me and my brother back home. It quickly became very clear that he had not changed and the abuse continued.

 

This happened again before we were eventually able to leave completely. I said to my mum one day when she had walked me to school, “Mum, we have to leave...” We left that night and never went back. Unfortunately, we had to leave a lot of friends behind and my elder sister who had stayed with my dad. Once we were settled into a new town, I started some counselling sessions with a charity called Splitz.

 

Mike, who worked at Splitz helped me understand that the abuse I'd witnessed and experienced wasn't my fault and also gave me different strategies to cope when I was experiencing problems. While I was attending sessions at Splitz, I met Wayne from Fixers and me and some friends decided to do a project to try to help others who may be in a similar situation to us.

 

We made a film about a young girl who experiences abuse and we hope this will help people to understand the effect it can have on children. Since finishing our project with Fixers, I have completed my college courses and am now studying for a BSC in Social Work at Winchester University.

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